Background: Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) is the most common cancer in the oral area. Matrixmetalloproteinases (MMPs) and especially MMP-2 and MMP-9 are increased in malignancy and lymph nodeinvolvement in oral SCCs. We aimed to evaluate the serum levels of MMP-2 and MMP-9 in patients with oralSCC compared to normal subjects and their relation with clinicopathological findings. Materials and
Methods:In this case control study, 20 patients with oral SCC and 20 healthy subjects were included and serum levelsof MMP-2 and MMP-9 were compared between groups. Also, the correlation between these markers withclinicopathological findings including grade (T) and node (N) were evaluated.
Results: Patients with oral SCChad significantly higher serum levels of MMP-2 (p=0.01) and MMP-9 (p<0.001) compared to healthy subjects.With increase in grade T, MMP-2 was significantly increased (p=0.001), but in the MMP-9 case this was notsignificant (p=0.27). The levels of MMP-2 (p=0.002) and MMP-9 (p=0.01) in cases with lymph node involvementand that of MMP-2 in subjects with smoking history (p=0.001) were significantly high. There was significantlypositive correlation between MMP-2 with grade T tumor (r=0.598, p=0.005), lymph node involvement (r=0.737,p<0.001) and smoking (r=0.674, p=0.001) and also between MMP-9 and lymph node involvement (r=0.474,p=0.03).
Conclusions: Both markers are significantly increased in oral SCC compared to healthy subjects.However, MMP-2 was better for evaluating lymph node involvement and tumor grade.